Friday, 29 July 2011

Modhera Sun Temple: Gujrat’s Mozart

Modhera Sun Temple is the finest examples of Indian temple architecture that reminds of the Sun Temple at Konark and the carvings at Khajuraho. The Modhera sun temple, even in its ruined state is a majestic one, bearing testimony to the art of the ancient Chalukyas of Gujarat, India. This sun temple is one of the few shrines that are dedicated to the Sun God. Situated on the banks of Pushpavati River in Modhera, Sun Temple is easily accessible from Ahmedabad. The temple is built in such a manner that the sun light, peeping into the temple from all sides, falls directly on the statue of the god.

Modhera Sun Temple

Night View of Modhera
The Sun Temple at Modhera dates back to early 11th century CE and was built by King Bhimdev I of the Solanki dynasty (believed to be the descendants of the lineage of Sun God) in 1026 CE. Turning in the pages of history, one can notice the mention of Modhera in the scriptures like Skanda Purana and Brahma Purana. The surrounding area of Modhera used to be known as Dharmaranya (forest of righteousness) and the place was blessed by Lord Rama.

Entrance of Temple

Pillars Craved with God and Goddess

The brilliant architecture of the temple is one of its own class. The design of this temple resembles Sun Temple at Konark in Orissa as this shrine is designed in a manner, so that the first rays of the Sun cast on the image of the Lord Surya.  The temple encompasses three different yet axially-aligned and integrated constituents. Erected on a high platform, the Temple appears majestic with its grand structure. The main entrance is a look-a-like of the gate of Torana, which is beautifully carved. The arches mount on a kirti stambha. The temple also features a beautiful garden and is situated near the banks of the river Pushpawati. The exterior walls are engraved with intricate carvings, boasting about the mastery of art in those times. Every single inch of the structure is covered with the sculptural patterns of Gods, Goddesses, birds, beasts and flowers. The exterior of the sanctum has many carved images of the Sun God, portrayed as wearing a belt and long shoes as in the Dakshinaarka temple at Gaya. The Sun Temple is divided into three parts namely Surya Kund, Sabha Mandap and Guda Mandap.

Surya Kund
In front of the temple is a colossal tank, which was once known as Surya Kund or Rama Kund. The tank has a series of carved steps leading to the bottom. Several miniature shrines adorn the steps of the tank – which is an art gallery in itself.

Surya Kund

The tank has two attributes that break up, and fruitfully complicate, what would otherwise be the monotony of steps leading into a pit. One, a number of small shrines, each holding the image of a deity, are built onto the steps on all four sides, giving the tank the air of a self-contained universe. The most striking of these shrines is an enclosure on the east side showing Vishnu reclining on his sesh naga or coiled serpent, surrounded by other forms.

Steps of Kund

Front View of Ku

Modhera dance festival is the major festival that is observed by the Sun Temple. This dance festival is organized to keep the Indian traditions and culture alive. It is held in the third week of January every year. The classical dance forms in the premises of this temple revive the imperial ambiance during the period. Gujarat Tourism organizes this event to promote tourism at this place.

Modhera Dance Festival

Modhera is now the site of several dance and cultural festivals. The sun temple and the ambience here provide a majestic backdrop for the exhibition of performing arts.
Modhera is just over 100 km from Ahmedabad; Patan another 25 km. State transport buses link all three places, and private buses from Ahmedabad to Patan and back are available through the day (Rs.60). The closest railway station to Modhera is Mahesana, which is about 30 km away. A private cab from Mahesana to Modhera, Patan, and back costs about Rs.1000.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Mohiniyattam: Dance of the Enchantress

Mohiniyattam" literally means "dance of the enchantress".  It is one of the well known dance of Kerala. It is a celebration of womanhood and the grace and elegance of femininity. It is considered a very graceful dance meant to be performed as a solo recital by women. The term Mohiniyattam comes from the words "Mohini" meaning a woman who enchants onlookers and "aattam" meaning graceful and sensuous body movements. The striking features of this dance form are the musical melody and rhythmical swaying of the dancer from side to side and the smooth and unbroken flow of the body movement. The dance is focused on feminine moods and emotions.
Women Performing Mohiniyattam
 It is closely related to Bharathanatyam of Tamil Nadu, which was originally called 'Dasiyattam'. Mohiniyattam is a fusion of ' Bharathanatyam ' and ' Kathakali ', as it combines the graceful elegance of Bharatanatyam and dynamism and vigour of Kathakali. The performances are done only by women. In Mohiniyattam, the Lasya element of dancing is predominant, and the mood created is Sringaram (erotic).
Facial expression in Mohiniyattam
According to the legends, Lord Vishnu disguised as a Mohini and he appears as Mohini to lure the asuras (demons) away from the amrita (nectar of immortality) obtained during the churning of the palazhi or Ocean of Milk. Another story says that Mohini’ toward the end of her dance, persuade the Asura to place his own finger on his head unwittingly to his own undoing. This episode seems to be picturesquely represented in the first item of the Mohiniyattam called ‘Cholkkettu’ which begins with a pose of the dancer displaying her right hand, the murder of ‘Suchimukha’ with her first finger pointing to her head. So Vaishnava devotees have take the name and called it Mohiniyattam.  Cholkkettu was also considered to be a dance pattern scattered to Lord Siva. There is a sloka in praise of Siva towards the end of the test used for Cholkkettu in Mohiniyattam.

There is a typical costume for Mohini Attam. It is generally simple and white, or off-white. Usually there is a gold brocade, possibly with a border of red. One of the most characteristic signs of the Mohini Attam dancer is the bun of hair worn off-centre. This is very much a characteristic of women from Kerala.The make up is simple and realistic. Nothing garish or loud is worn; the entire ambiance is one of tenderness and refinement. The performers of Mohiniattam dance usually wear an off-white colored sari with gold brocade borders. Hairs of the dancer are gathered in a bun and decorated with jasmine flowers. The Mohiniattam dancer is adorned with Gold Jewellery including necklaces, bangles, waistbands and anklets. The tinkling of the Jewellery produces music as the dancer performs the dance.

Group of girls performing Mohiniyattam

The mudras or hand gestures followed are from the Hastalakshanadeepika. The movements are languid and swaying suggestive of the rise and fall of ocean waves from which Mohini was incarnated. The accompanying music is Carnatic essentially. The vocal music of Mohiniyattam involves variations in rhythmic structure known as chollu. The lyrics are in Manipravalam, a mixture of Sanskrit and Malayalam. The Mohiniyattam dance is performed to this accompaniment by the subtle gestures and footwork of the danseuse. The performer uses the eyes in a very coy yet sensual manner, the purpose being to enchant the mind without enticing the senses.

The real beauty of Mohiniyattam comes through only when mature ladies enact the romantic padams specially written to present the Ashta Nayikas: Swadheena Bharthruka, Khanditha, Abhisarika, Vipralabdha, Kalahandtharitha, Vasakasajja, Proshithabharthruka, Viraholkhanditha.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Tarkarli Beache: Shining Jewel in the Emerald Beaches of Konkan Belt

Tarkarli is a tranquil and serene beach in Maharashtra and it is known for its crystal clear water. Tarkarli is a narrow stretch of beach with pristine waters, located at the convergence of the Karli River and the Arabian Sea. The beach has silk smooth sand along the stretch and Tarkali is dominated by greenery and sparkling blue water.Again the water is so pure that the seabed is visible even if you venture out at the sea.

Tarkarli Beach

Tarkarli has been bestowed with a long coastline which is ideal for those long romantic and nostalgia filled walks. The feeling of soft sand under your nimble toes and the presence of clear water and sky along with the cleanest of breathing air provides a heady feeling. Not to forget that the beach is also the trusted zone for the female turtles. It is not uncommon to find a turtle lazing on the beach or hatching and protecting its eggs.

White Sand Beach

This place has gained prominence because of its transparently clear seas, where on a fairly sunny day, one can see the sea- bed up to a depth of 20 feet. This beach can be rightly called as ‘Queen Beach’ of Sindhudurg. Sea and sand blending in enchanting natural harmony, gracefully cruising boats in calm and cool river waters add to the beauty of this beach.

Sunset at Tarkali Beach

Laze in the hammock or stroll around, this beach is definitely the right place to recharge your senses in complete sanctity. While on a walk, the travelers if fortunate enough could figure turtle laying eggs on the beach side which can bestow the revelers a chance to click some photographs and capture them in the camera.

Tarkarli Beach

How to Reach Tarkarli:

The distance from Mumbai to Tarkarli is 475 km by the NH17 Mumbai-Panvel-Goa highway, or 546 km away if the NH4 Mumbai-Pune-Kolhapur route is chosen. The nearest railway station to Tarkarli beach, is Kudal railway station which is on the Konkan Railway Mumbai-Goa route. You can take a Mumbai-Goa train and get down at Kudal which is just 45 kms away from Tarkarli.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Omkareshwar: An Island of OM

On the banks of river Narmada, there is a huge island on which the fourth of the JyotirLinga “Omkaram Amaleshwar” is situated. This island shaped like the most sacred of Hindu symbols, the Om, a mountainous region covered with ancient temples, the sacred Narmada flowing on either side, smoothening the rough rocks into pebbles to be carried away by pilgrims and venerated as Shiva Lingams, Omkareshwar is all that and more. Omkareshwar, the sanctified island, is located in the state of Madhya Pradesh in central India.

Omkareshwar Temple
 This is the sole reason why the place has drawn to itself hundreds of generations of pilgrims. Omkareshwar is at the conflux of the River Narmada and River Kaveri. The temple of Shri Omkar Mandhata stands on the island, one mile long and half mile wide, which was formed by the fork of the Narmada River. Shri Omkar Mandhata has one Jyotiralingam of Lord Shiva, which is one among the twelve Jyotiralingas throughout India. Thousands of pilgrims and tourists visit this temple every year just to kneel before the shrine and offer prayer

According to Legend: Once upon a time Narada (son of Lord Brahma), known for his non-stop comic travel, visited Vindhya parvat. In his spicy way Narad told Vindhya Parvat about the greatness of Mount Meru. This made Vindhya jealous of Meru and he decided to be bigger than Meru. Vindhya started worship of Lord Shiva to become greater than Meru. Vindhya Parvat practiced severe penance and worshipped parthivlinga (A linga made from physical material) along with Lord Omkareshwar for nearly six months. As a result Lord Shiva was pleased and blessed him with his desired boon. On a request of all the gods and the sages Lord Shiva made two parts of the lingas. One half is called Omkareshwara and the other Mamaleshwar or Amareshwar. Lord Shiva gave the boon of growing, but took a promise that Vindhya will never be a problem to Shiva's devotees. Vindhya began to grow, but did not keep his promise. It even obstructed the sun and the moon. All deities approached sage Agastya for help. Agastya along with his wife came to Vindhya, and convinced him that he would not grow until the sage and his wife returned. They never returned and Vindhya is there as it was when they left. The sage and his wife stayed in Srisailam which is regarded as Dakshina Kashi and one of the Dwadash Jyotirlinga.

Omkareshwar Island: Omkareshwar is a 6 km long narrow stretch of an island in the river Narmada. It is connected by a bridge. It has many places of interest.

Shri Omkar Mandhata: The temple stands on a one mile long, half mile wide island formed by the fork of the Narmada. The soft stone of which it was constructed has lent its pliable surface to a rare degree of detailed work, of which the frieze figures on the upper portion are the most striking. Also intricately carved is the stone roof of the temple.
Omkareshwar Parikrama: While it is for the temples that most pilgrims visit Omkareshwar, the most interesting thing about the island is the island itself. With its unique shape, the island itself has been venerated, and over centuries, scores of temples have been built on it. The ancients not just built the temples, but also made a path so that one could visit all the temples while circumambulating the entire island.

Veiw of Omkareshwar Temple
The Siddnath Temple: A classic example of early medieval Brahminic architecture, this one is well worth a visit. Its most eye-catching feature is a frieze of elephants over 1.5m high carved on a stone slab at its outer perimeter. Elaborate carved figures decorate the upper portion and the roof of the temple. The shrine is encircled by verandahs with columns carved in circles, polygons and squares.
Triveni Sangam: It is the sacred meeting point of Narmada and Kaveri River. Here every stone is considered as Shivalinga. According to legends, in ancient times a yaksha called Kuber performed penance and pleased Lord Shiva. He got a boon from Lord Shiva to be always a king of yakshas. The devotees come to this place to offer tarpan to their ancestors. This is, for a change, clean and perfect for a bath. The clear water with rounded pebbles forming the river bed invites us to sink our feet into it and enjoy a relaxed dip, while the more devout pilgrims (few, at the best of times, since it is almost an hour’s walk from the bridge) offer prayers.

Related Information:Devotees who visit Mahakaleshwar in Ujjain normally also visit Omkareshwar near Indore. Popularly it is referred as twin Jyotirlinga yatra. The distance between Ujjain and Omkareshwar is about 145 km and it takes 3 and half hours by road. One can also plan a connecting journey of Maheshwar, which is 60 km away from Omkareshwar. It is situated between Mandu and Omkareshwar. MP state Road Transport buses and private vehicles are available from Omkareshwar. It combines a wide and beautiful Narmada, very clean ghats, tranquil temples and scenic fort surrounded by pipal, neem and old banayan trees.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Nahan: A crown nested in the Shivalik Hill

Nahan is a charming and quite hill station at a height of 950 m above sea level in Sirmaur district in Himachal Pradesh. Surrounded by undulated hills and lush greenery, this small village is situated on the Shivalik Hills. Nahan is a well laid-out picturesque town, known for its cleanliness and dust free streets. Situated at the Southern tip of Himachal Pradesh, Nahan can be driven to in about 5 hrs from Delhi.

Picturesque view of Nahan
  According to legends, The city is believed to be founded in 1621 by Raja Karan Praksh in 1621. It is beleived the city takes it name from Nahar (The Lion) who was an companion of a saint who used to live here. Nahan meaning “don’t kill” is believed to have got its name from an incident where the king was about to kill a lion and a saint by the name of Baba Banwari Das stopped him saying “nahan”. There are some other legends as well associated with how this hillside town got its name.


Nahan situated amidst nature' lap is surrounded by many beautiful places worth visiting. It is known for its many temples, temple festivals, wild life sanctuary, local markets and beautiful scenery. Nahan  is closer to the plains as compared to the peaks. Nahan is a popular among tourist due to its scenic beauty and picturesque surroundings. The forest routes filled with lush greenery adds to the calm nature of the place. Nahan is a small town in the centre of lush green mountains nearby.

RaniTal Lake in Nahan

 Rani Tal is in the heart of Nahan where a large temple and a tank from the days of ex-rulers of Sirmaur State can be seen. Ducks and cranes are aplenty and Ranital Garden further adds to the charm. Pakka Talab is being developed as another poplar tourist centre in the town itself. There are three lonely but loveley attractions for a quite walk in the hill side town- Hospital Round, Military Road and Villa Round. Suketi fossil park also called as Shivalik Fossil Park where it displays life size fiberglass model of pre-historic animals whose fossils and skeletons were unearthed. The park is first of its kind in Asia to be developed at the actual site where fossils were discovered.

Greenfield Valley in Nahan

The hub of Nahan's activities is Chaugan, Bikram Bagh and Khadar-Ka-Bagh. Gift shops, Rosin & Turpine factory and local temples are among the other major attractions. The Mall Road is one of the favourite places to walk along, especially in evening. The handicraft artisans weave good souvenirs, like woollens items and caps for tourists.

Renuka Lake
 Renuka Lake (38 km) and Paonta Sahib Gurudwara (45 km) are the main tourist attractions here. Renuka also has the protected wild life sanctuary. Renuka offers a lake, wildlife and mountains to boot.

Paonta Sahib Gurudwara
 Abundant green woodlands, eminent mountain ranges, absolutely carved river valleys make Nahan a perfect place to holiday for nature and adventure lovers.

If You Go:

Nahan can be reached in about 5 hrs from Delhi.

Rail: The nearest railway stations are Ambala, Chandigarh and Kalka, these places are also connected by regular bus services with Nahan.

       1. via Dehradun (Uttrakhand) through Paonta Sahib
       2. via Kalaka-Ambala from Haryana and
       3. via Solan from Shimla ( H.P.)
There are regular bus services linking it to the other towns like Manali, Delhi and Haridwar.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Farrukhabad's Hand Printing: Sleight of Hand

Hand Printing is an ancient craft in India. India enjoys an international repute for its handicrafts and hand crafted items and much of the skill in this sphere is confined to the state of Uttar Pradesh. Farrukhabad in Uttar Pradesh is a veritable treasure house of traditional designs ranging from the classical butis (dots) to the famous ' Tree of Life.   Farrukhabad hand printing is famous all over the world and it stands testimony to the craftsmanship of the native artisans. It would not be an exaggeration to state that Farrukhabad has become synonymous to the art of hand painting.

Handprint using Block

HandPrint in Process

Traditional patterns dominate Farrukhabad Hand Printing. Block makers at Farrukhabad are known for their artistry and intricate designs. The skilled workers carry on experimentations with these traditional patterns that range from the classical butis that are also called polka dots to the more popular “Tree of Life”. The butis are restful even though sparkling when tinted in solid colors. Mango, ‘paisley’ as it is known in the West, is made in a vast variety of shapes, and used in bold, medium and even fine designs . Farrukhabad Hand Printing specialty is its myriad shapes that are used in bold, medium and sometimes fine designs. Block printing is well known for using rich, vibrant colors. Traditionally, natural vegetable dyes were used in this process, but now-a-day synthetic colors are also in use.

Traditional Pattern of Farrukhabad Handprint

Different designs of Hand Print

The composition is first printed in harmonizing colors and later elaborated with delicate details painted in with a brush. A variety of blossoms merge in this luxuriant tree. It is primarily a decorative piece unrelated to any symbol but has a flavour of growth, prosperity and immorality. The spirited heraldic lions that guard the tree speak of a Hindu tradition.

Persian Style Block Printing

Farrukhabad Hand Printing still enjoys the prominence and importance even during a period when the machine based printing has captured the market. The advent of machines has no doubt made this art form stand face to face with financial loss, but those who attach a lot of importance to the manual labor can understand the value of Farrukhabad Hand Printing.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Lathmaar Holi: Celebration of Divine Love

Everyday there`s a festival somewhere in India. Few are more popular and widely celebrated. One of them is Holi. It`s the festival of colors and madness together. In Barsana, UP, people play Lath Mar Holi in premises of Radha Rani temple. The birth place of Lord Krishna’s beloved Radha, Barsana celebrates Holi with extreme enthusiasm as Krishna was famous for playing pranks on Radha and gopis.  Females beat up men with sticks and men try to protect with shields. Holi in Barsana, is regarded as the celebration of the divine love of Radha and Krishna.

View of LathMar Holi

Myths behind
According to the folklore and mythological tales, Krishna in one of his pranks, applied dark colors on the cheeks of Radha, as she was fairer than him. This initiated the tradition of celebrating Holi not only here but in the whole country. Following the tradition, men from Nandgaon, the place where Krishna spent his childhood and early days, come to play Holi with the women of Barsana. Here, women and girls welcome them not with colors, but with stout sticks.

Living the legend
Lord Krishna used to play pranks on Radha and her female friends (Gopis) and the tradition is still being carried by the men of Nandgaon who come to Barsana on Holi. The womenfolk of Barsana greet them with sticks rather than playing with colors. It seems that these women want to take a sweet revenge of the pranks that Lord Krishna used to play with the Gopis.
The men who are completely aware of the situation waiting for them at Barsana come fully padded. They try their best to escape from the beating of women by sticks but those who can not are forcefully led away and get a good thrush from these women.

Woman beating with stick to take sweet revenge of Radha

 Some lads are made to wear saris and dance in public

LathMar Holi
 Unfortunate ones, are made to wear saris and dance in public. All these are done to stop men from putting a flag on the temple of Radha Rani. People take all these as fun in the spirit of Holi. On the next day the men of Nandgaon take their revenge and drench the womenfolk with colors of kesudo (natural dye) and palash. It is really a colorful site to see all the men and women playing with colors and playing pranks on each other.

People singing folk songs during LathMar Holi

Lathmar Holi in Radha Rani temple Premises
  Lathmaar Holi is definitely a hair-raising experience, wherein men patiently face the charged womenfolk. At the end of the day, the Holi celebrations at Barsana present an unforgettable life time experience, downed with the spirit of devotion and affection for the Lord.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Saputara: Gushing Waterfalls, Drifting Mists & Crisp Fresh Air

Gujarat is one of the diverse state of India where be it tradition, culture, palaces, long barren desert or festivals, everything here is unique. With so many things to explore here, one more place that attracts visitors is the Saputara Hill Station. Saputara, literally the ‘abode of serpents’, is  best known hill resort ,at the height of 875 metres, saputara offers a pleasant climate and panoramic view of lush green Dang forest.  Nesting at around 1,000 meters in the southern part of Gujrat, Saputara a densly wooded hill station is blessed with placid lake, waterfalls, natural trails, ropeway which offers a panoramic view, a fort, temples, a museum and even a bee centre. Saputara becomes even more beautiful in the monsoon & is a perfect place for a quick get-away, picnic or even a short holiday. It is an ideal place to escape from the hustling bustling city life giving peace of mind and serenity. Saputara helps in the restoration of youthful features to fluvial landscapes amidst the green woods.

Saputara Hill Station

According to the legends, Lord Shri Ram had spent 11yrs from his exile in this place. The name of Saputara is extracted from the image of snake on the banks of the river Sarpagana which is worshipped by the adivasis on the holi festivals.

Snak Image on the bank of the river

Lying in a densely forested plateau in the Sahyadri Range, Saputara holds the distinction of being the only hill station in Gujarat. This picturesque hill station will provide the beautiful scene of Sahyadari Mountain. Visitors can enjoy the cool air breezing from the Sahyadari peak even during the hot summer season. The surrounding of the hill station is covered with thick forest where tribal people reside. The sunset and sunrise from Saputara give the most panoramic and varied views of sun.

Sunset view from Saputara

Saputara Hill Station

The main attraction of the Saputara hill station is the Saputara Lake where the tourists can hire the sailboats, paddleboats and rowing boats to enjoy the lake and lakeside recreational activities through boating. There are several gardens at Saputara such as the lake garden, step garden and rose garden as on the banks of the river are always loaded with various flowers  and are the perfect place to laze around in the vacations. Various attraction places has made Saputara a destination of Indian tourists along with the foreigner as the tourists. The ropeway which is run by the Hotel Vaity is a tremendous experience almost floating and overlooking the scenic vista of the bordered greenery with mountains peeping high.

Saputara Lake

Places to Visit: Saputara Lake, Purna Sanctuary, Waghai,  Gira Falls, Unnai Mata Temple etc
Best time to visit: April to July.

How to Reach:
By Air: Mumbai airport is the nearest airport
By Train: Waghai n Billimora is the nearest station from both Mumbai and Ahmedabad
By Road: The state transport runs from Mumbai and Gujarat.  This hill station is located 409kms from Ahmedabad and 51 kms from Waghai.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Yakshagana: Songs of the Celestials

India is a synonym of unity in diversity. Every state has its own unique culture, art and its own tradition. Karnataka is also one of such state. One of the most prevailing arts in Karnataka is Yakshagana which was once popularly known as “Gandu Mettida Kale” which originated 400 years back. Yakshagana has been embedded in the history and culture of Karnataka for the past thousand years. This is a classical folk art, which has its roots in the mythologies and holy texts.  Yakshagana is a traditional theatre form combining dance, music, spoken word, costume-makeup, and stage technique with a distinct style and form.

Literally Yakshagana means “Songs of the Yakshas”.  Yakshas means a tribe one whose mention we can find in Mahabharata or in the ancient Indian literature. According to Hindu mythology Yakshas are demi gods and the attendants of Kubera. Yakshagana art form is a product of Vaishava Bhakti Movement. The origins of Yakshagana can be traced as early as eleventh century A.D.  Yakshagana dance-drama during its early days was known as Bahunatakas but was later on rechristened to its present name after getting inspired from the Yakshas or Jakkulas who used to be great singers and dancers. In the ancient days, Mangalore Yakshagana dance-drama was a ballad singing art form which was later on given the shape of a dance drama. In the beginning, Yakshagana was performed by only a single dancer. It was during the 17th and 18th century, that it regained its current form of a dance drama where various characters were introduced.

Yakshagana is popular in the districts of Uttara Kannada, Udupi, Dakshina Kannada, Shimoga and Kasaragod district of Kerala. A Yakshagana performance begins at the twilight hours with the beating of drums for up to a couple of hours before the 'actors' get on the stage. The actors wear resplendent costumes, head-dresses, and painted faces which they paint themselves. The stories of Yakshagana were drawn from the Ramayana , Mahabharatha , Bhagavatha and from other mythological episodes. It consists of a narrator who narrates the story in a song-like fashion, backed by musicians playing on traditional musical instruments as the actors dance to the tune, with actions that portray the story as it is being narrated. Traditionally, Yakshaganas would go on all night.

One of the most remarkable features of Yakshagana dance-drama is that every time when the dance is performed, it is performed with a different subject. Till date it has covered almost every theme from historical, secular to mythological. Presently there are about 30 full fledged professional troupes, and about 200 amateur troupes in Yakshagana. Professional troupes go on tour between November to May, giving about 180-200 shows i.e. a full night show everyday.

Yakshagana is a unique harmony of musical tradition, eye-catching costumes, and authentic styles of dance, improvised gestures and acting with its extemporaneous dialogue appealing to a wide range of the community. In truth it is a vibrant, vigorous living form of theatre art.
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